Your ability to reach assurance in understanding Jesus depends on the love that the church community has for each other. That is the startling underlying principle in the beginning of Colossians chapter two that Paul is proclaiming. He states:
“1For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ,” Colossians 2:1-2
If you are a member of the church you are aware of the benefits that you get from being apart of God’s people. The encouragement, the direction, the generosity, and the truth that is proclaimed are vital for our lives. The community that the church provides is unparalleled to any group that I have ever been apart of.
But just how important is this group of people? I mean, we all can point out some things that we don’t like about the church that we attend. It may even house people that really, deep down, don’t care about God and live lives in opposition to God! Yet the community that the imperfect church creates for people to follow Jesus is vital for our standing in front of God.
How many times have we seen the local church as a way for us to reach assurance of our position in front of God? Paul says the, ”being knit together in love,” provides our understanding of God’s mystery in Jesus so that we can attain, “full assurance of understanding.” The Amplified Bible would also say that this assurance is connected to the “joy of salvation.” The church, through its love in explaining the truth of who Jesus is, can give each and every one of us assurance in our walk with God. Paul carries this same insight in his letter to the Ephesians,
“…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.” Ephesians 3:17-19
I hope we all know the feeling. I would say it is often experienced in a group of people studying the Word whose love for Jesus binds them together so that their being together and studying together brings about assurance of who they are in front of God. Any other reason for a small group or a Sunday school class is missing vital encouragement for the believer.
So how is your faith being assured? What are you offering your church so that those of the faith can be strengthened? The genuine love of the church can provide this. Oh how essential the church is for our walk with Jesus.
Caleb Rawls – is the pastor of Pleasant Home Baptist Church in Laurel Mississippi, and husband to Taylor Rawls. Together they strive to lead the church to reach out to their community and world. And yes, they have a dog named Tiglath-Pileser.
 “[For my hope is] that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in [unselfish] See note 1:4.love, so that they may have all the riches that come from the full assurance of understanding [the joy of salvation], resulting in a true [and more intimate] knowledge of the See note 1:4.mystery of God, that is, Christ,” Colossians 2:1-2 AMP